A few thoughts on the world of sports from the past few days:
1) Punchless Cubs – I'll spare everyone an excessively long diatribe on Michael Barrett's cheap shot on A.J. Pierzynski. However, I will point out that I enjoy the North Side spin that this will somehow fire up the Cubs, as if having their starting catcher and best hitter since Derrek Lee's injury getting slammed with a suspension that could run a week or more is going to do a lot to "fire up" an already putrid offense. Just what the Cubs needed – Henry Blanco and his .051 batting average while the Cubs play Atlanta this weekend and then 16 straight NL Central games after that! Plus, regardless of team allegiances, the sight of Neifi Perez as a cleanup hitter should be mortifying to any baseball fan. Look, I know A.J. is an asshole, but Cubs fans need to take a step back and look at how Barrett's groundless punch has the potential to sink that lineup into an even greater abyss at the worst possible time.
2) Sox and Hound – The thing I love about this White Sox team is that I expect them to make a comeback every time that they fall behind. Regardless of how large of a deficit, they always keep applying pressure to the opposition. Even after Frank Thomas returned to the Cell with revenge on his mind with two homers (for a guy hitting under .200) that would have sucked the life out of a lesser team, the Sox pressed back and won on a suicide squeeze play executed perfectly by Pablo Ozuna in the 10th inning. Great teams make those types of great plays.
3) Great NBA Playoffs, But No More Bron-Bron – I haven't enjoyed watching the NBA Playoffs this much since the Jordan Era. The Mavericks pulling it out in overtime over the Spurs in game 7 last night was a fitting end to a classic series. This sets up a Mavs/Suns Western Conference Finals matchup, where the over/under on total points per game is going to be 300. However, I was disappointed in LeBron James and the Cavs failing to get a defensive rebound for the last minute of Game 6 against the Pistons on Friday night. That guaranteed that Cleveland's Curse of MJ Making Craig Ehlo His Bitch would continue for another year – everyone who watched that meltdown on Friday instantly foresaw the Pistons' throttling of the Cavs in Sunday's Game 7. I have no personal love for the Cavaliers, but as a basketball fan I relished the prospect of LeBron facing up Dwyane Wade and Shaq in a best-of-7 series. I'll just have to take comfort in the fact that we're not going to see a snore-inducing repeat of a Pistons/Spurs NBA Finals. Regardless, this postseason proves that the NBA is back this year.